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Add more drives to HP Proliant disk array

Hello,

I have a DL380 G Proliant Server with a RAID 5  running 3 149 GB Hard drives and 1 hot spare running Exchange.

Server is running out of space, so my questions are:

Can I  add the hot spare as a regular hard drive without comprimising the array and the data? And if so how do I do that?

Secondly, what are the instuctions to add new hard drives to an existing array without losing any data?

Thanks in advance,
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mightyquinn889
Asked:
mightyquinn889
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andyalderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
Yes, you can go into spares management under the ACU and take the hot spare out of the spares and then use it for whatever you want. You can expand the array by adding more disks but you will need to have a cache battery for almost all Smart Array controllers before online expansion is available. You won't see any expand option unless there is an unallocated disk in the machine plus a battery on the controller. You forgot to put the number after G so don't know what generation it is but using the Array Configuration Utility is the same on all of them, it's different with every version of the ACU though, in general it's context sensitive so when you have the array highlighted you will see the expand option or a wizard to do it for you and when you have the logical disk highlighted and the array has been expanded you'll see the option to extend the logical disk.

This process takes many hours but parity is maintained while it's happening so just use your regular backup routine. Backup separately before you start though in case you delete something accidentally (which is pretty unlikely).
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mightyquinn889Author Commented:
Thanks for the info the number after the G is 5 DL380G5

how do I find out if I have a cache battery installed?
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andyalderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
ACU will tell you, select the controller and click "more information". Also you can see if the read/write percentage is 100% read as write cache is disabled without a battery.
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mightyquinn889Author Commented:
the cache ratio is  100%  does that mean there is no cache battery?

if there isn't how do I add more hard drives to the array without a cache battery? Do I just have to take the server offline?
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andyalderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
 100% read cache and can't change it means no battery. All you can do without that is image it off or backup, delee current array and create a new one with more disks. Could add a couple more and make a new array and logical disk and move some data to D: of course.
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mightyquinn889Author Commented:
ok so if I add some new hard drives and create a new array. Then that disk space would show up in Windows Disk Management and then I could allocate that space to the current D: drive?
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andyalderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
Um, no, I thought you only had a C: drive when I said add two moer as D:, it would be best used as E: drive. You could add it to D: as dynamic disk but that isn't recommended as dynamic disks are horrible.
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mightyquinn889Author Commented:
Anyone have any additional thoughts or suggestions before I close this?

My game plan is to add 4 new hard drives and create an additional array since I don't have a cache battery installed.

In Windows convert my disks from basic to dynamic and create an extended partion to make the size of my D drive bigger.

Thanks
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andyalderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
Pity anyone who takes your job if you leave, they'll curse you for using dynamic disks.
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mightyquinn889Author Commented:
what is your issue with Dynamic disks?
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andyalderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
Nobody in the storage industry likes them, it's just one more thing to go wrong. Even MS don't like them - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee832792.aspx - Best practice: Use basic disks.
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mightyquinn889Author Commented:
so do you think instead of extending the D: drive, I'll just create a new drive F: and move the exchange database to there?
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andyalderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
That would be a lot cleaner, yes.
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mightyquinn889Author Commented:
ok talking to other techs I guess the problem with Dynamic disks are because I'm using a hardware RAID instead of a software RAID? correct?
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andyalderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
I think dynamic disks are a problem whatever you use although you can't do software RAID without them.

onsider for example a volume set and you lose one drive from it, you lose all the data as half a file may be on one disk and half on another. If you had two separate disks instead you would only lose half the data. They're also harder to move from one machine to another and back again because they are already in the database but stale. Also you can't get "dynamic unreadable" status with basic disks.
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